05/31/2012 3:48PM

Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation drops suit against Mellon estate executors


The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation has dropped its lawsuit against one of the Mellon estate executors it asserted had engaged in “a campaign of vilification” against the nation’s largest charity for former racehorses, according to a New York Law Journal report.

The legal publication reported Wednesday that the TRF filed a notice to discontinue the case against Frederick A. Terry, Jr., who also is an attorney.

Terry and Beverly Carter are co-executors of the Mellon estate, the TRF’s biggest benefactor. The TRF had alleged that Terry made “false and defamatory allegations of impropriety” to the Saratoga Springs-based charity’s auditors, the New York attorney general’s office, and others in the Thoroughbred industry.

Michael Ledley, who represented the TRF in its January suit against Terry, said in a statement that the TRF “successfully demonstrated to its donors and the thoroughbred racing community that Mr. Terry’s allegations were false and therefore chose to withdraw its complaint, without prejudice, in order to focus its attention and resources on continuing to provide first-class care for its herd of retired horses,” according to the New York Law Journal.

Terry’s attorney, Robert Giuffra, told the journal: “This lawsuit was frivolous when filed, and TRF had no choice but to abandon it just two days before Mr. Terry was scheduled to move to dismiss it.”

New York’s attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, filed suit early this month to remove the TRF’s board, alleging financial mismanagement and neglect of the TRF’s herd of about 1,100 retirees. TRF has asked the court to dismiss that suit, calling it “meritless,” and has said the attorney general ignored recent evaluations of the herd by veterinarians who generally rated their condition as good.